Curation: A Definite Shift in the Way We Report

What’s the statistic on the number of blogs that are in the blogosphere? Who knows, whatever the extimate is that number is old news in 24 hours anyway since so many individuals and groups are spinning up sites all the time.

Content Curation

The means by which we digital publishers keep up with the constant, and never-slowing stream of information to report about is changing as well, thanks to the mainstreaming of social media.

I think we can officially say that social media is mainstream after this recent Super Bowl which, in many circles was dubbed the Social Bowl with all the Twitter hashtags, Shazam tags, status updates and slow motion video recaptures of M.I.A. flashing the world her middle finger.

So how are news outlets (digital primarily) supposed to keep up with this constant stream of information? We can’t go out and physically interview all involved parties. We can’t necessarily dispatch a team of photographers to be at every single red carpet event; even though we’d like to, there’s just too much going on locally, nationally, and globally that we as a society have become accustomed to knowing about – right away.

Enter the utilization of curation tools. I’ll talk about a couple of tools that I use regularly and leave the conversation open for your feedback and even suggestions in the comments.

My main purpose behind writing this post this evening was due to the tragic news of hearing that Whitney Houston had died at the incredibly young age of 48. When that news came across the wire I, like nearly every other popular culture/infotainment blogger jumped on the Internet to capture the store.

Storify logoStorify – The goal of Storify is to help its users tell stories by curating social media. You can gather reactions, tweets, headlines, videos, etc. on a particular topic from the following social media platform: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Google, Tumblr, RSS, SoundCloud, Disqus powered blog comments, GetGlue, and StockTwits.

I love the ease of use of Storify and it’s ability to allow you to create a montage of various content assets to create your own story to share with the world.

Now, while Storify is great, you can never put all your eggs in one basket. For that reason there is a similar tool that I utilize as a backup.

Chirpstory logoChirpstory – is similar to Storify except it’s all about Twitter. Adding content such as text, photos, and videos all must reside on Twitter. Sounds like a limitation, when compared to the offerings of Storify, but in actuality, with so high a percentage of the news filtering through Twitter anyway, it’s not all that bad of a setup for Chirpstory.

Both tools allow you to share/publish your story across the Social InterWeb. Both tools also allow you to embed your curated story into a blog post (which is a huge benefit).

My recommendation – use both. Going back to the Whitney Houston news tonight, I created a story using Storify and went to embed it into a blog post, but the Storify servers were overwhelmed at that exact moment – all use bloggers and news organizations searching the web for reactions online, so I was about 10 minutes later than I wanted to be getting my story fully published.

Lesson learned, next time have a Plan B, and maybe a Plan C.

[image via Simply Zesty]

James Hicks
James is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of HicksNewMedia, a Digital Publishing and Technology Consulting team providing effective and relevant solutions to individuals and businesses looking to more effective utilize the social interweb. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

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